City taking over Chaparral Country Club on Sunday

Kevin Wilson

A few things to know about next week’s golf course transition, following the city’s $2.81 million purchase of the Chaparral Country Club.

When does the city take control? Sunday is when the city begins operations at Chaparral Country Club. It will keep that name for the time being, Parks and Recreation Director Bill Bizzell said.

“I’ve never liked the name, ‘Clovis Municipal Course,’” Bizzell said. He’d like to see the 18-hole course perhaps retain its Chaparral label, go back to Colonial Park or something chosen in a “name the course” contest.

What happens to Clovis Municipal Course on Sunday? Nothing. The nine-hole course is still operating until further notice. “We’ve got some tournaments scheduled there,” Bizzell said, “and we want to honor those tournaments.” Those tournaments will go into at least June, Bizzell said.

He said it’s under consideration to keep the “par 3” course, as golfers have requested.

What are the rates? The following rates are effective on Sunday, for both the country club and the municipal course. They were approved by the Clovis City Commission at its April 21 meeting.

• Weekdays: Fees will be $8 for nine holes, $13 for 18 holes. A weekday punch card is available for $120, which provides 20 punches worth nine holes.

• Weekends: Adults pay $10 for nine holes, $17 for 18 holes. Juniors pay $5 for nine holes and $10 for 18 holes.

• Yearly pass: Passes $799 for adults, $1,199 for a family (up to 10 members may be included). Seniors pay $350 for a year, or $500 for two senior passes.

• Summer pass: The summer is considered April 1-Sept. 3. A single pass is $450, and a family pass is $699.

• Cart fees: $8 per nine holes, $16 per 18 holes.

What about people who live next to the country club? Would they receive any bonuses like free or reduced memberships? “They pay what any other member of the public pays,” Bizzell said. Any deals with the country club ownership would have left when that owner sold. If a Realtor wanted to make that an incentive to a homebuyer, the course of action would be to buy a membership and include it in the purchase price.

When the municipal course does get closed, what happens to it? It becomes part of a 157-acre Hillcrest Park, which will be converted into open park space with the following features:

A splash pad: Bizzell estimates this would cost between $300,000 and $350,000. The Hillcrest Park pool would be dug out. In its place would be a concrete pad, with a water system underneath. The enclosed system would pump water out of the ground, collect the water, and treat it before it is pumped again.

He would like to see the project complete by next summer. The only requirement of the work is that it does not damage the wall on the south side — a 1932 Works Progress Administration project with federal protection.

An amphitheater: The south side of the wall would be the rear of the amphitheater. Bizzell said the only cost he sees would be concrete for the stage. People could bring their own chairs for performances there.

Restoration of the Youth Recreation Building: The YRB, which Bizzell targeted as a project when he joined the city last May, used to be a summer hangout and a popular building to lease for school dances.

Work on that project can begin before bonds are refinanced, Bizzell said, because the city received a $500,000 donation from the Sisler Foundation for the project.

More youth sports fields: The current soccer complex includes two regular-sized fields, four mid-sized fields and eight youth fields, in addition to a rugby pitch the Clovis Nomads use for games.

Any soccer fields, many which could be stacked on the No. 8 hole that runs parallel to Seventh Street, would have to at least equal the city’s current number. That way, the current soccer complex could be converted to softball fields either adjacent to or as an expansion of Guy Leeder Softball Complex.

But more soccer fields means tree removal, and Bizzell said, “We’re trying not to disturb the trees at all.”

A dog park: The park would be at 14th and Hickory streets, and be a place for pet owners to let their dogs off their leashes and socialize with other dogs.

The biggest expense would be fencing, which Bizzell has heard from friends in the business to be about $1 per foot. He’s not sure if the entire area would be enclosed, or if part of that land would be used for a dog park.

Other expenses would be seating and equipment for owners to pick up after their dogs.

Walking trails: The city can do either a chip seal, like Portales has by its softball fields on Industrial Drive, or do sidewalks similar to Greene Acres Park.

Bizzell said concrete is “cost-prohibitive,” because the city would like to have trails around 8 feet wide. Trails are being considered for Hillcrest Park (the municipal course’s cart paths), Dennis Chavez Park and the Iris Arbor area, land the city uses for drainage purposes that includes trees and a playa lake.

How will completion dates be figured? When the money is available. The city commission will have to approve refinancing bonds worth about $5.2 million. Bonds that expire in 2013 are paid by a .0625 percent gross receipt tax. Bizzell said that should the city commission pass an ordinance to refinance bonds, which would take at least two meetings two weeks apart, the bond process could take up to 120 days.

If the city has money left — i.e. lower than expected bids or unexpected private donations —